ASCO has relaunched its “Cancer Progress Timeline” with many new and more recent milestones in cancer research and a focus on research that was supported by federal funding.
The Cancer Progress Timeline is an interactive, data-rich resource that provides an historical overview of major advances in cancer that have led to better patient outcomes and quality of life. Originally launched in 2011 to commemorate the signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Timeline chronicles more than 400 milestones spanning 170 years—from the advent of general anesthesia opening the door for cancer surgery in the mid-1800s to the first gene therapy for cancer approved by the Food and Drug Administration this year.
In addition to a Major Milestones timeline, which highlights some of the most important advances across cancer care and research, the Cancer Progress Timeline includes 18 separate timelines for specific types of cancer and seven timelines for types of care. This allows users to browse the key advances specific to cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and pediatric cancers, and explore the history of advances in chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and quality of life, among others.
Additionally, the Timeline now highlights milestones that stemmed from research funded at least in part by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or other federal agencies. More than 150 milestones included in the Timeline were supported by federal research funding. Federally-funded research accounts for many of the biggest advances of the last several decades, including:
- Establishing that human papillomavirus is a major cause of cervical cancer
- Developing a life-extending treatment that effectively targets an aggressive blood cancer
- Helping women survive breast cancer without disfiguring surgery
- Proving that post-surgical chemotherapy can benefit patients with a range of cancers
The progress shown on the Timeline illustrates the need for continued funding for the NCI to support breaking research to advance cancer care and outcomes for cancer patients.